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How providers can curb unnecessary care with a ‘do no harm’ campaign

By April 17, 2015

Lown Institute webinar lays out best practices gleaned from University of Colorado-Denver project


When two doctors started the Do No Harm Project at the University of Colorado-Denver, it was simply because they recognized that healthcare overuse is “an urgent ethical issue” in the medical field, said co-founder Brandon Combs, M.D., in a Thursday webinar hosted by the Lown Institute.

Two and a half years later, the project–which asks medical residents to write “vignettes,” or short narratives, about cases in which they think medical overuse occurred–has won numerous awards and inspired the “Teachable Moments” series in JAMA Internal Medicine. Its success has led Combs and his fellow founder, Tanner J. Caverly, M.D., to try to help a wider group of providers implement a similar project at their institutions.  

At the core of the initiative is the idea that clinicians should do “as much as possible for the patient [and] as little as possible to the patient,” Combs said, adding, “This really has been our rallying cry from Day One of the Do No Harm Project.”


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